Marriage Missions International

How Much Sex Is Normal?

Photo by: Imagerymajestic,

Photo by: Imagerymajestic,

So, you haven’t had much sex with your spouse lately, huh? Well, one in five couples are living in “sexless” marriages, sex experts say, meaning having sex fewer than 10 times a year. And one-third of married couples struggle with the problem of mismatched sexual desire. It’s the main reason couples seek counseling. And here in Silicon Valley, [California] where couples are working long hours to pay high mortgages or are desperately searching for jobs during a recession, fatigue and stress only make matters worse.

“I’ve been married 10 years. There were times when once in three months was a good thing,” said a 33-year-old Santa Clara County employee who didn’t want her name used. “It’s feeding the kids, getting them to bed, all after putting in a full day and commuting. I have a ‘no-sex-after-8 o’clock’ rule. When I crawl into bed, I want to go to sleep.”

Low sex drive is such a problem, said Al Cooper of the San Jose Marital and Sexuality Centre, that it’s considered the “common cold of sexual issues of the new millennium.”

Whether sex drives are lower in general now than in years past is uncertain. But one thing is sure, Cooper said: “Women are complaining more.” When it comes to seeking counseling, it’s the women who are dragging the men into sex therapy offices. And in these instances, contrary to popular belief, it’s the husbands with low desire. “In our society, it’s more culturally acceptable for the woman to have no sex drive,” Cooper said. “When the man has no sex drive, it’s more upsetting to both of them.”

Sexless marriages seem to be the constant talk these days, from Oprah and Dr. Phil (who calls it an “undeniable epidemic”) to numerous books climbing the bestseller charts, including “The Sex-Starved Marriage” by Michele Weiner Davis. New York Magazine wrote a recent story about “Generation Sexless” —young New Yorkers so busy with their careers and demanding toddlers they have little time or desire for sex.

So, how much sex is “normal?” Sex experts are reluctant to quantify how much sex is enough sex (it could make some couples feel wholly inadequate, and some couples get along just fine without much sex). But while fewer than 10 times a year is considered sexless, having sex once or twice a week is considered average.

“Unlike vitamins, there are no daily minimum requirements,” said Weiner Davis, who wrote The Sex-Starved Marriage. “If both spouses are satisfied with having a sex-lite marriage, that’s great. However, it’s much more often the case that couples are polarized, that one person is unhappy with the quality and quantity of their sex life and the other is saying, ‘What’s the big deal? Get a life.'”

Only 40% of married couples say they’re very satisfied with their sex lives, Weiner Davis said. While medical problems and some medications can cause loss of desire —including some antidepressants and some birth control pills —most problems revolve around differing and unfulfilled expectations.

Heather and Jarad, who have been married for 5 years and have a 6-month-old daughter, say it’s hard to squeeze in time for sex, or even work up the desire, in their hectic lives. The couple, who commute to San Jose from Hollister each day, say they’re lucky to have sex twice, maybe three times, a month. “It’s the game of trying to slip it in when the baby’s sleeping,” Jarad said. “It’s a fight for time.” “There are times when I may want to and he may not,” Heather added. “It’s important for me to have that time to remember I’m not just a mother, I’m his wife.”

Dramatic changes in men’s and women’s roles over the past decades also have altered expectations of marriage —and corresponding feelings about sex.

“I look back to my parents’ generation; they had it a little easier. Their roles were carved out,” Weiner Davis said. “Now in relationships, although we have a lot more freedom, it’s hard, because everything is up for grabs: Who takes the garbage out? Who gets up with the baby? In a sense we have to invent our marriages, and with that freedom comes conflict.”

In addition to stress and exhaustion, experts say, anger and resentment can build to the point where sex stops. Other factors in sexless marriages include subverting one’s sex drive to, say, pornographic Internet sites or affairs with other people. “I saw a doctor last week who wasn’t having sex with his wife but was looking at pictures of big-breasted women on the Internet,” Cooper said. “We see this a lot in the valley.”

In general, however, a couple’s problems are often less about sex, per se, than getting to the sex, Cooper said. No couple’s willingness for sex at any given time lines up perfectly, he said. The key is how well a couple negotiates the times when one initiates and the other refuses.

“If it becomes a major battle every time, the person with the lower sex drive feels constantly barraged and harassed about sex. The one with the high sex drive feels constantly deprived, and the fights get more intense each time,” Cooper said. “We see there that the sex just drops away.” And when the sex stops, often the casual affection stops: the hand-holding, the laughing at each other’s jokes, the sitting next to each other on the couch. When relationships become that icy, they risk infidelity and, ultimately, divorce.

About half the population needs to make a real effort to feel desire, Weiner Davis said. A reluctant spouse must make a “decision for desire,” she said. “If you wait for the feeling to sort of wash over you, when the dogs are out of the house, the phones are not ringing, the kids are in bed, you’re never going to have sex.”

Couples need to put as much energy into their sex lives as their job and children, she said. Set the mood early in the day with simple flirtations around the house, a patting on the rear end, complimenting the spouse’s appearance. And of course, avoid bickering before bedtime. Couples with more deep-seated problems should seek counseling.

“I wish I had a dollar for everyone who said ‘I wasn’t in the mood when I started, but I really got into it,'” she said. “One of the best ways to make it happen is to be receptive to your spouse’s advances.”

It’s advice that the 33-year-old woman with the “no-sex-after-8″ rule didn’t take. She and her husband are separating. “The world is just very busy,” she said. “You need to have a two-income household. You pay a price for it.”

The above article came from The Mercury News— Feb. 14, 2003, and was titled, Is it the New Epidemic? written by Julia Prodis Sulek Mercury News. It’s not written from a Christ-follower’s view point but we think it’s very sound advice.

We, at Marriage Missions, don’t feel that God would have us “pay the price” of sacrificing our marriages because we’re too “busy” to have sex. Scripturally we feel that God wants us to work with each other, as long as it doesn’t go against scriptural grounds, to accommodate each other’s sexual needs.

The scriptural basis we see for this can be found in the Bible in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 where it says,

“The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone, but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”


Join the Discussion!

But please observe the following guidelines:

  • Try to be as positive as possible when you make a comment.
  • If there is name-calling, or profane language, it will be deleted.
  • The same goes with hurtful comments targeted at belittling others; we won't post them.
  • Recommendations for people to divorce will be edited out–that's a decision between them and God, not us.
  • If you have a criticism, please make it constructive.
  • Be mindful that this is an international ministry where cultural differences need to be considered.
  • Please honor the fact this is a Christ-centered web site.
We review all comments before posting them to reduce spam and offensive content.


589 Responses to “How Much Sex Is Normal?”
  1. JAN says:

    (USA) Life began through sex, or do I have life confused with sin? Things are twisted in this life we live. I used to know what my role was as a wife. Now, I don’t think it matters, just as long as I recognize my place. My place seems to be over there, out of the way, until sex comes up. Then I need to be ready. I will be asked out of sheer respect, of course, but as long as I don’t get that confused with having a choice per se.

    My husband is a very sexual man, and prefers sex on a daily basis, or at least five times out of a week. Well, his job has put a strain on our sex life and on my health as well. He can only come home on the weekend and my immune system has adopted another theory that sex is a foreign substance and is bad. So I get bacterial vaginitis every other week it seems. Sometimes I don’t tell him there is anything wrong, because I sense he honestly doesn’t want to hear a reason why we should not have sex. But it gets pretty bad and I have to go to the GYN to get some meds. The meds require me to stay away from intercourse until its completion. Needless to say I am on meds now because I am typing this when I should be sound to sleep from the love making the night before (smile). I don’t mean to make light of a heavy situation, because everyone is having a real tough time here.

    Being a woman is not easy, and being a wife is pretty impossible. I won’t pretend to know what a man goes through, nor will I justify it with my outlook on books or articles written by men. Yet, I will say that sex is important for marriages. Whether we have it or don’t have it is important. How much we have, well that is quantifiably a measure of agreement. GOD says it is good to be apart for a time, but it has to be mutually agreed upon and not too long, otherwise sexual immortality becomes a problem. It is also written that our bodies are not our own, but that of our spouses.

    First off, I don’t crave sex nearly as much as my husband does, and I think it is because of a lot of little things that have led me to believe that I’m not respected for who I am. I used to feel very bad about it, but then got used to it, so to speak. He loves me tremendously when we are having sex on a regular, but he has a hard time communicating his love without sex on the regular. Now, I’ve come to many conclusions: sex is the only expression of love he knows; I am nothing more than legal sex that needs to be coaxed every now and again to keep it pleasurable; or I am obligated to do it because that is what GOD says. So, I choose to believe the latter. However, it’s been about two weeks since we’ve had sex and porn has now become the issue again. I used to feel very betrayed by the porn, but I am realizing at this moment of abstinence that we are not as close as I would like and it’s not about me. I am just the wife and the mother. Sometimes, my heart grieves from this realization, but I am thankful for the truth.

    So my question is: is marriage for the sake of legal sex?

    • Bridget says:

      (CANADA) Jan. Wise, wise, wise, words. I don’t care what anyone tries to tell you. I will join you in solidarity on the concept of marriage being for the sake of legal sex. Unfortunately, the answer to this question is yes. The reason monogamy exists is to secure access to sex. It’s very sad, as are many other truths about life, but, I have a master plan! Come with me, follow me, and join the club who has decided to meet male paleolithic brain with female paleolithic brain. Step inside the female brain who accepts how a man is built. Step inside a world that is actually TURNED on by how a man is built. Step inside the female brain who lets her man *bleep* her because that man is the first man, the last man, and every man in between who ever bleeped a woman.

      The bottom line is that for men, it’s very primitive, for us, less so. Let youself venture into the world of the primitive, let yourself be Eve, Jane, let you and him represent all men and women, because that is the way it is, a man is built that way, you are built yours… not easy but after tragedy, this is the only way to see it. God bless.

      • JAN says:

        (USA) Wow Bridget! Thank you for that. Your response was encouraging. I’ll continue to keep this in prayer, along with everyone else struggling with these issues. Remember, “with GOD, nothing is impossible.” Thank you my sister, for opening my eyes to a possibility that could very well be true. And too, I have to keep in my mind that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against spiritual wickedness…”

        GOD Bless you as well!

    • Larence from United States says:

      Wow Jan, wow, I have to say you’ve opened my eyes to how I should look at my wife. Now I’m not sexy crazy or anything like that but when we do make love that’s the only way I really show my love to her. She’s more then that, she’s my best friend, my wife and the mother of our two kids. She does so much for me and I don’t even acknowledge her great work. I only show her some kind of attention when I want to have sex. As of now it’s starting to feel wrong of me to do such a thing. However, there are times where I won’t have sex for a month or two then she gets frustrated after a while because there are days where I just do not feel like doing anything sexual. That’s when she thinks I am cheating on her and that is not the case, I have never cheated on anyone in my life.

      Sometimes I think to myself is there something wrong? Should I be more sexually active I ask myself. After all we’re both 29 years old and I don’t believe we’ve even reached our peak yet. Or did we? I can also relate to the pornography, as well. I don’t know about your husband, but I’m speaking for myself, for me it’s wishful thinking, wishing I could have someone that look like the woman that I see on the Internet. Then I think to myself would my life be different if I was with any of those women? Even woman that are just out for a little after a noon run?

      I say all of this because speaking from a man’s point of view my wife is on the heavy side and it’s not from having kids. I’ve been with her for almost 11 years, married to her for almost 4 years and I have never noticed it until recently that all of the women in her family are big. I have to say this scares me because if she’s already big. What will she look like when we are older? Now I know what you’re thinking and you’re right. I should just love her for her. She is an awesome woman of God, she is an awesome mother and wife. It’s said that there is no big Sin or little Sin, Sin is Sin, but if I had to put a size on it I would say my big Sin is pornography, and lusting after other women. I look and don’t touch, so the world said.

      I just think that we should all just pray for one another that where we are weak the Lord can make us strong. He said when two or three are gathered in his name he is in the midst of us. I pray for you right now Jan, that everything works out between you and your husband, and may God bless you both. Take care of yourself and God bless you. Thanks for truthful words. Some times a man need to just sit down, read and listen to what women are trying to tell us as men. Every man needs to read what you have written.

    • Chris from United States says:

      I stumbled on this page and read your comment Jan. I thank you for your honesty. In my own experience, God’s intention of marriage is a reflection of His relationship with the church (believers as a whole).

      As a male in my 30s, sex can overtake the mind and alter my behavior. However, Jesus calls us to fight the desires of the flesh. My sexual relationship with my wife was frustrating in my 20s. I felt like she was denying my love. With a little guilt, she consented my needs more often than she wanted.

      But then at 26, she got cancer. For a year and half, she was unable to have sex. During that time, God showed how I had a relationship of performance. I loved her because she pleased me. But then she couldn’t please me.

      After reading Ephesians 5: 25-33, I learned that Jesus’ unconditional love for us is what is expected of me as a husband. I have rid all the unhealthy, performance-based expectations I had on my wife and now love her regardless of how she makes me feel. Our relationship is healthy and now she feels I’m the one who is not having enough sex. I hope my words bring you insight.

  2. Eugene from United States says:

    Nearly 40 years ago I married a girl who had been born out of wedlock and was told by her grandparents that she was the result of her mother “doing wrong”. Since she conceived our only child she put sex out of her life as much as possible. When I would ask if she wan’t to “make love”, she would respond with “whatever you want” rather than giving me an honest answer -especially since I had stressed to her than anything other than “yes” meant “no”. I have tried to honor her wishes, but it has been a miserable time for me.

    Now that I have had a radical perianeal prostatectomy with severe damage to the nerves in that area, she has decided that she wants affection that I can no longer fulfill. Again frustration increases. I have considered divorce but family duty always prevented that. Now it seems the only way left.

  3. Eggie from Philippines says:

    I’ve been with my partner in 12 years. We were married 8 years ago and since we got married we have less contact. Unfortunately, I think she has a low sex drive. She can’t even wear the lingerie I bought for her unless I ask her to wear it. I feel that I am married to a woman with no interest in sex. We have 1 kid. I do all the things I can, I work, massage her etc. but nothing happens.

  4. Larence from United States says:

    I don’t know if it’s normal but my wife and I maybe have sex 72 times in one year. I work graveyards so that makes it even tougher, plus with two kids in the picture. My son, the youngest likes to sleep in our bed… grrr.

  5. Mrs Reed from United States says:

    Me and my spouse also have major problems when it come to our sex life. My decreased sex drive started when I had this great fantasy that my husband would learn how to show affection and romance. The problem started right after our marriage. I learned 2 months into our marriage my husband was having an affair and to top it all off, he expected sex literally everyday while this affair was going on! I was completely turned off because that wasn’t the only indiscretion during our early years of marriage.

    As time went by my anger turned to bitterness that affected me on a level I believe he will never understand. As a result our marriage has suffered a serious blow in the sex department. Sometimes I feel like an 80 year old lady and I’m only 33. All my dreams of love making and baby making I longed to do with my husband has turned into a nightmare! I desire romance and affection.

    • Paul from United States says:

      I know this is an old post, but if your husband was cheating on you two months after you got married, and you let him get away with it, you really shouldn’t expect much from him as far as romance. He doesn’t respect you enough to romance you… and, apparently he doesn’t really have to, as you will stay with him pretty much no matter what. Not sure how long you have been married, or what culture you are in, but you need to realize your situation will never get any better just from waiting for it to change. Your husband is not going to change on his own. You need to decide if you are able to seek help together for fixing your marriage, or if you’re able to live with him the way he is in case he never changes his ways.

      Our personal happiness should not be a Christian’s focal objective in life; however, unnecessary suffering and misery adds nothing to our Christian identity. An unhealthy marriage between two “Christians” that lacks mutual respect and honor can speak a more damaging witness to culture than a person’s out of wedlock sin can. (Staying in a miserable marriage of disrespect out of Christian duty may not always be the godly thing to do.) Your situation sounds very lonely. I hope you find some resolution to it, whichever path you choose.

  6. Rajini from United States says:

    I am Indian. I believe my situation is typical of an Indian marriage. My wife is very, very, very rarely interested in sex, while I am a bit more amorous. She is quite the nag, and is constantly badgering me to take care of this, and buy that, and fix this, blah, blah blah. She only cooks what she likes to eat. She seems to be more interested in talking to her parents and siblings than with her own family. She is very kind and caring in the way she behaves with them, but extremely harsh and angry when she deals with us. Everything is nice and quiet and peaceful at home, and then she walks in from work and just starts barking like a rabid dog at all of us. When she is not barking, she is napping, or yakking with her parents or other naggy cohorts in the local Indian community. I know it’s pathetic, but for me, a little bit of sex would make up for all this. I put up with it because the kids are still small. Not sure what I will do when they fly the coop.

  7. Linda from Congo, The Democratic Republic of the says:

    I’ve been married 4 years and have a 3 year old child. Ever since we got married, sex diminished and almost disappeared from my life. My husband is just not interested (we didn’t have this problem when we were dating).

    When we first got married, we had sex on average once a week, then it moved to once a month (if I initiated, sometimes I got turned down or he wouldnt participate. He would just lay there like a doll) so I stopped initiating cause I couldn’t handle the rejection. Many times I tried to talk to him about it, but he doesn’t want to discuss it and sometimes gives me the silent treatment for days for bringing it up. With time it became once every 4 months… in the last 2 years we had sex once.

    He never gets dressed in front of me… locks the bathroom door when he is in there. If I get dressed in the room where he is, he turns the other way so not to see me. I find this so strange and depressing! Is this really how it is supposed to be? Other than little pecks on the lips to say hello and goodnight, he hasn’t kissed me in the past 3 years, doesn’t hug, and doesn’t show any signs of affection. The last time he told me he loved me was 3 years ago when I gave birth. If I tell him, he doesn’t respond so I stopped telling him also. Once, when I asked him if he loves me, he answered: ‘I could love you more or I could love you less, it depends on you’…

    At the drop of a pin, he closes himself up and gives me the silent treatment (not 1 word) for days, weeks… so I’m constantly making sure not to upset him.

    I’m really lost, don’t know what to do… I don’t believe that this is God’s intentions on marriage, but at the same time I know that God hates divorce so what is one to do in this situation? Please help.

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      Hi Linda, You have a real problem here. I’m no expert on this… all I can tell you is the thoughts I have on this, after consulting with my husband (so I could get a man’s perspective), and as I’m praying about it. The thoughts that came to mind as I read your comment were the same ones my husband suggested. They aren’t easy ones for you to consider (although I’m thinking you’ve probably already imagined them). Your husband is either getting it somewhere else (female or male), or he’s into some type pornographic behavior (which is changing his biochemical needs from the real to the unreal), and/or he’s using all of this to gain some type of control. It COULD also be a physical thing with him –low testosterone levels, or he’s being plagued by psychological issues (because of past abuse). I’m not sure. Those seem to be the most logical reasons we can imagine.

      I HIGHLY suggest you pray about this asking for added wisdom and insight (that you hadn’t received previously), and also find a “pro-marriage” counselor to help you process and work through all of this, and possibly giving you suggestions. Please go into the “Marriage Counseling” topic on this web site, which will better explain why a pro-marriage counselor is important. If you don’t find a marriage-friendly counselor, it could be the end of your marriage. We’ve seen this time and again. Please read up on it so you know what you should be looking for in finding someone to help you.

      Even if this will be tough for you financially and otherwise, I believe it is vital. The reason is that too many people look for a counselor when they have all but given up and they don’t have a shred of love and care left for their spouse. At that point it’s very difficult to resurrect that which is dead. It’s not impossible (especially when God is in it), but it’s not very likely because of the freedom of choice we have as humans. Not only do I recommend it because of the sanctity of your marriage, but also because you have a little 3 year old who will be VERY negatively affected if this type of behavior is allowed to drag on, not to mention how vulnerable this leaves your heart because you aren’t receiving the affirmation and the tenderness of making love to your husband. All of this adds to confusion and causes all kinds of problems (which you know) and possible future problems. There needs to be some type of action, some type of stop to this dysfunctional marital behavior. This isn’t “normal” and it needs to be dealt with in healthy ways sooner, rather than later, because the longer it draws on the more damage this will do to your marriage. I hope and pray for you that you are able to find the help you need and that your husband will, as well. This is not good for either of you or for your child who depends upon his or her parents to take care of their needs in healthy ways so he or she can grow up in a good and loving environment.

      • Linda from Congo, The Democratic Republic of the says:

        Hello Cindy, Thank you for your response. The first thing that I thought of a few years back when the intimacy diminished was that he was getting it somewhere else… I asked him if he was but he got angry with me and said that trust was the basis of marriage and if I didn’t trust him, we didnt have anything to do together. But he didn’t give any explanation as to why he has no sexual desires for me. If there is a medical reason for it (which I doubt) or past history of abuse (which he has never talked about) I am open and willing to get help with him so we can fix this problem together but he seems to think that he has no problem and if only I changed, our marriage would be better (but doesn’t tell me what it is he doesn’t like about me so I can have an idea on what I need to improve).

        I suggested many times that we go to counselling but he’s not interested, says that I can go if I want to fix my issues but he doesn’t have any. Also, he doesn’t believe in God so it makes it even harder.

        I have prayed about it, fasted about it, cried to God to show me what it is I need to do but things are not changing… He doesn’t recognize the wrong he is doing. Right now he’s been giving me the silent treatment for the past 24 days. Last year he gave me the silent treatment for 6 weeks for something really silly and at that point I wanted to leave but stayed because I didn’t want and still don’t want my son to grow up with separated/divorced parents… but I’m dying inside… It’s horrible.

        • Cindy Wright from United States says:

          Linda, This SEEMS like a control issue, but I’m not sure. Something’s up with this and it appears to be MUCH more about him than about you. You really need to talk to a marriage-friendly counselor for YOUR sanity and for help so you are NOT “dying inside.” That’s a terrible place to be –no spouse should put another in this place. My heart goes out to you. I pray God leads you to a wise counselor.

    • Bridg from Canada says:

      Hi Linda, What a sad story I have read today. I so wish I could help you. You sound like a very reasonable person who is stuck in an awful situation. My thoughts (and like Cindy I’m no expert) are that he has some kind of psychological issue he is not dealing with. This behaviour is not normal and requires help from a professional. The other thing that comes to mind is that perhaps he is a closet homosexual and only married for ‘show’. I know this isn’t nice to say but this is not normal. Your son will absolutely forgive you if you choose to leave this man. You feel sad for your son with divorced parents but having a mother who is dying inside is much worse… I assure you. I too will pray for you.

      • Linda from Congo, The Democratic Republic of the says:

        Hello Bridg, thank you for your post and prayers. It is hard to be a Christian and be in this situation because I believe that nothing is ipossible to GOD and that with enough prayers and fasting, He could change my husband’s heart. That nothing is hard enough for GOD. He has the perfect plan for my life and that He knows why I’m going through this… Am I being foolish?

        • Skye from United States says:

          Hi Linda. I read your post few days ago and had to really think about it for few days. I am no expert but I have a feeling that your husband might be an asexual. The symptoms and signs are there. Many asexuals do and can have sex but in their minds don’t want it, need it, desire it and only have sex to belong or to fit in.

  8. ADM from United States says:

    Isn’t it interesting that, although our culture is literally dripping with sex (internet pornography, movies, tv, magazines books, etc.), more marriages are suffering from a lack of sexual intimacy than ever before? This is happening both within the Christian community and in the secular realm. Although stress and busy schedules are much to blame, I can’t help but think that marriages in general (whether Christian or not) are under attack as a direct result of our so-called “sexual liberation.” Sometimes I think of how nice it’d be to go back in time and live in simpler days.

  9. Joshua from United States says:

    My wife brought this issue up to me today, before she left to go out for a few hours. It has given me plenty of time to think about it. I do feel that my wife takes her emotions to the extreme at times (we all do) and so she felt hurt just by the idea that this could be happening to us. I assured her that nothing was wrong. I feel like marriage is a constant battle sometimes, which is probably why people say “successful marriages take work.” I feel very confused by my wife at times. Today it is… “I don’t feel like we are having enough sex.” Other days I get…”I feel like that is all you want to do”

    Now, don’t get me wrong. I believe that both the above statements have their warrant within their context. So, context is very important. There are times when I want sex a lot, but I am not as affectionate or romantic in other areas, which is important for her. There are other times when I am, for some reason, just not feeling in the mood (this particular situation hardly ever lasts longer than a month). I am thankful for this ministry, because I at least know that I am not alone in this struggle and that maybe some of you have some advice that would be helpful. Thanks

  10. Allie from South Africa says:

    After fifteen years of married life, I am still wondering what happened, as it just struck me out of the blue! Before our marriage, my husband and I made wonderful love, almost daily, never less than four times a week for a whole year and a half. Then, eight weeks after our wedding, the man became cold and distant.

    It is now fifteen years later. If we have a ten minute session once every two months, then it is a lot! I have asked, cried, fought, ignored and even suggested marriage counseling, as I have been looking for the fault at my door! I am a healthy, warm-blooded women with a wonderful, soft-natured husband, whom I adore. He is an excellent father for our two children (mine from a previous marriage). He helps around the house when I am very busy, and he treats me with utmost respect. He says that he loves me and that he has never been disloyal, which I do not doubt for a second. My question is just this: why would a nice man change so suddenly, shortly after our marriage? What could have happened for him to become so cold towards me in bed??

  11. Penny from United States says:

    I’ve just gotten past a teary eyed argument with my husband this evening. I tried to show him attention and he accused me of being insincere. I was making an effort to try and make our evening light and joyful. He has just returned from a business trip and we do have very opposite sex drives. It seems that over the years it was similar to others here, I was so busy with the kids and housework that it seemed I had little left to give.

    Furthermore, the lack of attention towards me at times, for other than for sex, didn’t help to soften my desire. I felt more obligated, less respected and at times out right used. No talking, little interaction, a great deal of sports television all while I took care of our kids and home. Little acknowledgement and lack of kindness and affection over the years seemed to drain my desire.

    As the years have gone by, 25 now, I have struggled to maintain any sense of intimacy due to a lack security and trust. It seems the lack of security, intimacy and trust were greatly important to me, more so than even I understood. When I learned that my husband was not truthful about having lost his job or how he spent money it began to wane even more so. I wouldn’t leave him though, because I believe in my vows.

    He hasn’t physically cheated but he has not been honest about other issues and it ended up costing us a lifetime of accumulation, including our home. My will is so, so drained… I do not like it, but I cannot seem to get over the trust issue. Oh, and his anger towards me for not being ‘on’ when he is ready really does not help at all either. It seems to add fuel to my trust issues.

  12. JD from United States says:

    I married my wife around five years ago; when we met I had recently divorced, from a sexless marriage. My current wife was so physically into me we had sex constantly, even multiple times a night. She loved to perform oral sex and became so visibly aroused by it, I was astonished. We now have two children together, and from the time we married to present our sex life has decreased. It has been over 3 months since the birth of our son, and she now self-admittedly has no interest in sex. I have tried to express my feelings, and it seems she doesn’t care; she only cares about how she feels. I need some relief and I fear I will get it elsewhere. I don’t want sex outside of the marriage, but I do want to feel like a man, and physically attractive again. I need some help…..

    • Ashley from United States says:

      Has she been checked for post partum depression? That is what it sounds like to me. Please don’t do anything regretful for a moment of relief, obviously she is in to you and likes to satisfy you. Most women with PPD don’t even realize that’s what’s going on! They’re going crazy on the inside and can’t put their finger on it. This could very well be what y’all are experiencing. Y’all are a team, be strong and get to the bottom of it. Clear and direct communication can get you miles further when done so gently and with love.

  13. Dunya from United States says:

    My wife and my sex life isn’t super strong but we are very compatible with each other. I guess as a man, it’s strange but my life does not revolve around sex. It’s of course amazing at times but in all the years I’ve been with my wife, 16 years, I don’t think ever once have I gotten upset because we didn’t have sex. In fact, lately our sex life has even gotten better because we’ve learned how to connect with each other emotionally. Once this happens, the physical act of sex is just that much better and more frequent.

  14. Amy from United States says:

    My husband believes in sex once in 46 years. Thats been my life only once and then he moved to the basement and works the midnight shift. We haven’t spoke or interacted for years.

  15. Jacque from United States says:

    I appreciate the overall message of this article, especially that it’s done in a balanced manner to acknowledge both sides. I find it difficult to accept that on a Christian website where judgements should not be made (as highlighted in the discussion guidelines of not telling someone to divorce), that the woman with the 8 o’clock stance was judged for her boundary, as well as her husband’s and her separation. Judgements like this are contrary to Christ’s message to not pass judgement. I’m not even a Christian, but I believe there is much danger in judging others, especially when on the outside of the relationship. If I were to listen to such judgements of my marriage, I’d no longer be in it.

  16. Junior from United States says:

    My wife and I have been together since we were 19. We’re both now 43 yrs old and we just had sex 20 times this past July. We have always been very attracted to each other. We did go 9 months without having sex when she was pregnant with our daughter and when she went back to college for nursing we would go maybe 2 weeks without sex. But normally 2-3 times a week has always been the norm for us. My advice to anyone is if you weren’t very attracted to each other while dating then you’re not likely going to have a long sex life. You also have to take care of yourself. No one wants to climb into bed with a slob.

  17. Brenda from Canada says:


  18. John from United States says:

    I don’t want to rock anyone’s world here, but marriage between a man and a woman is actually a three-way. Yes, it is a relationship between the man, the woman, and God. When one realizes this, the relationship changes for the better. For the first 22 years of our marriage, my wife and I had sex 2-3 times per week, but I always wanted more. Over time, as we were filled with the Holy Spirit, it increased. Recently, my wife revealed infidelities and even rapes that happened while we were dating (we were high school sweethearts, and I went off to college in a far away city). After she revealed this, and I forgave her (it was a really long time ago, and she has been a holy woman for nearly 20 years), our sexual frequency went way up.

    As a result of this, she seemed to release all her pent up problems, and now we have sex 1-2 times a day. We are both 46 years old. Finally, she’s reciprocating at my level! I’m so happy and filled with the Spirit. We’re hopeful that child number 6 is on the way. I do wish for everyone that reads this, that they consider daily sex for one month. It will change your relationship for the better.

  19. Richard from United States says:

    I’m just looking for information on healing after the husband has determined sexual infidelity coupled with depression is involved.

    • Christy D. from United States says:

      I promise you this… In 5 months or so (after you and her have the screaming, crying match) if you two have committed to being overly affectionate (basically forcing yourself to do this because you’re probably dying inside as your delicate heart strings snap one by one… google heart strings and broken heart syndrome) and to having sex daily, your body/spirit will heal slowly. But it will be the hardest thing you do. I know at 4 months and 22 days I would still sob every other day and want to end this painful relationship. My therapist said, verbalize the tears and give them meaning. Because crying truly only means one thing… give me comfort.

      At the start of our back together phase I wanted to destroy the other female, now she’s a distant memory. But I too cheated, and to this day he still pops into my head. I silence those emotions with “I did not pick my husband, God lead me to him so therefore I’m doing God’s will and allowing the universe to reward me for sticking with my husband. Sounds Looney but when you reunite and forgive you will receive signs letting you know you did the right thing.

      Now, her straying heart has zip to do with sex. I’m betting because it’s rarely sexual attention we need. We want to feel special. Buy her roses once a week or monthly and verbally commit to it stating that if she gives you the next 50 years to prove she’s valued and needed that this will only be the start of her happiness.

      She’s already cheated, that can’t be undone but how you forgive her still remains open. Try saying it out loud and see if it feels genuine, Richard. Can you forgive her, or are you going to punish her for the next year for really her lack of self esteem? I cheated because I didn’t feel good about me as a person… this has nothing to do with you my dear. You should flip the script and go on weekend vacations if possible, if finances are strapped be creative and do a picnic. Go above and beyond, you love her.

  20. Christy D. from United States says:

    Love your article! My husband and I were googling “Average times per month married couples have intercourse,” and this came up at the top. Ironically we had just got done doing the deed when it dawned on me: We have been having intercourse daily for almost 6 months straight! So I shared your data with him as he fell asleep and decided to share my mini-bio on sex and marriage.

    We are proud to say we’ve been married 8 years, and we’re both ashamed of the fact we both strayed from our marriage bed. After a 9 month separation finally ended in March of this year, we vowed to be intimate as much as we could emotionally and physically. Why? I’ll tell you why… we spent the other 7.5 years having sex about 11 times as year. I detached emotionally and physically after the two kids came early in our marriage and my husband’s desire to pursue his own business left me hating & resenting him for all of the above.

    Your definition listed that a sexless marriage equalled 11 times a year just rocked me. The Bible verse at the end made me realize that I am his and he is mine. How special to be owned and to own your best friend and know that my body is his gift/reward for my husband being a righteous man and honoring me by not straying and providing all that he has promised. To understand your husband and really connect with him you need to give freely to him and put aside your uncomfortable opinion on how you may look physically; he chose you.

    But if you’re thinking about divorce because you feel he’s not into you anymore, go the extra mile and give before you recurve and just push pause on life and lay beside him after sex and express your joy for being able to have this moment with him. Because one day if you fail to give enough you very well may be the one being served with divorce papers. Women seek verbal gratification, while men are more hard wired for physical gratification. How hard is it to make love every day? Not hard at all, he is my beloved and I am his.

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      THANK YOU Christy. I couldn’t have said it any better. This is so much like the realization I came to years ago. My husband’s approach to intimacy is different than mine, but that’s okay. The more we give to each other, the closer we become on so many levels –even our differences are becoming less and less. May God bless you as you give to your husband and he gives to you. May your marriage be a blessing to others too, inspiring others to work on their own issues so they can better come together in the sanctity of marriage.

  21. Brenda from United States says:

    I need an opinion. I am a newlywed. Prior to our marriage my husband was opened minded to making love, being seductive. It was unreal. I explained and he knew right from the beginning my libido is very high. I love making love, feeling that closeness, and giving myself to him as he was giving himself to me. We’re both in our early 50’s. Both have disabilities, sometimes more so him. And I work with him so I can try to fulfill his needs too.

    Lately I go to bed barely being touched. I try to lean in. But feel like I’m in separate beds. He is my best friend. I love him with all my heart. We waited and found each other over 30 years. I loved him as a teen and moved away because he didn’t express the same feelings for me. I know he isn’t out with other women. He has no respect for men who sleep around or stray. But I’m feeling left out. Passionate things are not there… a hug, reaching out to hold my hand, or just a soft passionate kiss. I am a hands on woman. Maybe I want to make love too much. But I think it’s wonderful when 2 become one. Nothing better than that closeness to me.

    Some of his comments have been bad. He said I must be used to this high sex drive from my prior relationships. But it’s not that. I gave myself to my husband as I thought we would be one. I do feel so sad about this and don’t want to feel resentment. I’m afraid to lean into him to show affection, fearing I will not get it back, as it has happened. It hurts a lot. Again, at the beginning he seemed to be having fun with sex, seduction being erotic, passionate. But it seems to become an excuse of medical problems for which we both have. If I see he is in pain. I stop. If I’m in pain I keep going to satisfy my man.

    I go to sleep feeling alone. And wake up feeling alone. And it doesn’t have to be 24/7 making love but that closeness, cuddling just knowing that we’re together. We’ve tried different things and sometimes in the heat of it all, I may be peaking to no end. Is there something wrong with me that I don’t want it to end? It’s like an out of body experience… a wonderful feeling.

    Last night was that for an instant, only to end in barely talking after. Because I was satisfied over and over, I thought that is a good thing. A man takes a while to come back. Where, as a woman, I thought he would be pleased to have a woman who is in tune with her body, sexual desires, being intimate to no end. Then it ended in not talking after what I thought was my most amazing experience I’ve shared with my husband. I thought I had pleased him. And as I said, my drive is there.

    I would have made love anytime with him. He could wake me up. I would be there for him anytime. Is there something wrong with my sex drive? Is there something wrong with me wanting to be close with the one I love? When I’m with him fully I feel like an out of body experience and he thinks I do things to get him mad. But it’s called passion, heat of the moment. I’m lost on this one. But please let me know if there is something wrong with me. I cannot help my libido is high. I explained from the beginning. And I see a lot of woman or men don’t want to make love to there other half. I don’t want that. I want my man to be happy as I want to also. I think that brings you to another level and then to be able to talk about it in a good way is wonderful. Not in a negative way. My drive is because my husband is turning me on. Only to be turned off right after words come out of his mouth.

    Now another thing. I said we just got married. He took the license because 1st one was misplaced and went the other day to get duplicate to get notarized, and have to do this within a few weeks to get this or it’s just a paper of nothing. It’s supposed to be sent brought in to make it final. Now he took out of the location it was. Never knew until I asked. And he took it in case things did not work. And so I would I would not send it in. I was in tears thinking what kind of woman does he think I am He made me feel like a no good Monster? I swore I would never marry again and I thought I married my best friend. My love I had waited 30 plus years for. Only to wonder now. Was this wedding a big joke!? Only one will know if the marriage license is brought in a few weeks.

    But in the same it’s leaving a bad taste in my mouth. So for now even though we went through the Vows. I don’t know if I am married or not. So all in a nut shell. I have my own home and he has his. So financially I need nothing of his. I am independent woman and don’t need a man to support me in anyway. So we are supposed to be Newlyweds. Please, someone help me. Is there something wrong with me? Should I feel depressed and having resentment with my life, where I stand with my now situation?

    My feelings are broken. My life seems to be shattered. I just don’t know which way to please him. Conversations don’t seem to get but angry. I just want to be in love and know I am loved by the man I thought I just married. But I think there is a trust thing going right now. And I don’t know whether to keep trying or walk. I am feeling a bit beat down right now. Am I wrong. Is it wrong I am 51 female to have sex drive like this, to want passion in my life? I always had it.

    I thought I was blessed that I still have this drive. I see everyone talking about their Spouse or them not wanting to make love. And maybe once a month. When I would love it more. And add a date night in there. Flowers or dinner out alone from the man you love. And to hear a man you love tell you that you look beautiful. That was another hurtful thing. Never heard that the day of our wedding! I told him he looked handsome. And I was just there… Please someone help me with advice. Am I wrong for wanting to be passionate, making love, cuddling, sharing and expressing my love. I had this before marriage. And mind you I just got married Aug 23, 2014. So am I in a bad situation.

    It’s hard to express my feelings to him. When I make love what happens in bed is sacred. I do like to spice it up. And in the heat of the moment it is what it is. He’s sleeping now and I would love to wake him in a nice way. But worried about rejection. Please let me know what you think. Do you think he doesn’t want to be married? And I should just walk away? Because if I just went through this marriage for which I thought we were joined as one under God’s eyes. And this license is not filed. I will have to walk away and never look back. I’m so hurt right now. I just don’t know what to do. I feel like my dreams are being shattered. Image the man you loved since a teen then finding each other after 30 yrs. Expressing your love for each other and then this. I am far from perfect. But I don’t think anyone deserves this treatment. Please let me know what you think. Do I try again talk to him, or walk? If I’m not married I will walk with my head down in shame. Thank you; have a Blessed Day,

  22. Amy from United States says:

    How much sex is normal? Married 47 years and according to my husband once is all he ever wanted! Since weve been married he thinks sex is pointless, disgusting, messy, smells like old garbage, waste of time and effort. Told me he wanted nothing to do with sex from me or any one else. He has spent our entire marriage in our basement. I, on the other hand, have no idea how muck sex is normal. I’m going on 70 now and really don’t care any more. You can’t miss something you’ve only had once.

  23. Marie N. from United States says:

    I don’t know where to begin! My husband & I have been married 10 yrs & have 3 children. When we first got married I loved sex! Then we had our 1st child & my husband became verbally abusive! He was a closet drinker for years & has since stopped drinking. But he’s still verbal w/me & the kids. He has a very high sex drive & mine is now a negative! He likes to have anal done on him & I’m very uncomfortable doing that! He says that it takes him to the next level of an orgasm. I feel it’s a sin even if you are married!!

    I found out 4 years ago he has an addiction to pornography & has been addicted since he was in the 6th grade. His idea of love making & my idea are two different things! He thinks “pornsex” is love & I feel it most definitely is not! I recently put a web protection on our PC because of our boys, & I didn’t give him the password & he got very upset with me. Now he’s having a hard time having an orgasm. I really feel super hatred towards him! I want to leave him. But I don’t want our babies growing up in a divorced home.

  24. Jason from United States says:

    This is BY FAR the biggest point of contention in my marriage. I find my wife to be unbelievably gorgeous, even after almost 20 years together and 2 kids, and my desire for her is as high as it’s ever been. She couldn’t care less about sex and it drives me crazy. I wish I knew what it would take to change her thinking. I’ve tried pretty much everything I can think of and even tried to become what she said she wished I would be (more affectionate even when I’m not wanting sex). It didn’t change anything. I would do absolutely anything if I knew it would work. It’s hard to be happy when you think your wife doesn’t give a rip about you. When I see testosterone commercials that imply that the woman wishes her man had a greater sex drive, I want to throw the remote at the TV. That’s not the issue in my house. -DESPERATE FOR CHANGE

    • Christie from United States says:

      I know this seems like a crazy question to some people, but has she ever had an orgasm? Like a true full throttle ORGASM? You would be surprised of how many women have not had an orgasm. Which is sad honestly. Even women who have had orgasms don’t have them every time they have sex because honestly their husband doesn’t think about the women finishing, but rather only themselves.

      I, on the other hand, have the pleasure of having an extraordinary husband with a touch of intimacy that goes beyond just sex, but having him give me an orgasm every single time we have sex!! He makes me go any way I please and I can even have one during actual intercourse with the help of his movements. He is ideal. Now none of this is saying you do anything wrong and maybe your wife has had an orgasm, but if she is unsure in anyway then she hasn’t. You know when you experience one! I hope this helped.

      • Badlandbabe from United States says:

        May I suggest & share something that worked for me? It’s reasonable & healthy & realistic. If both partners in these almost non existent sexless marriages want the marriage to survive along with prayers & belief, here is both an assignment & homework that was given to my husband & I from a sex therapist we saw when we were going thru some of these issues.

        I feel after reading many of these heartbreaking & painful situations, I’m compelled to share & this really ought to be proposed. I think all of these partners should take this assignment seriously. This isn’t a joke. I’m very serious. The assignment is to have sex with each other (of course) for a full week straight… once each day or night or at whatever point that sex can take place. If it means setting alarm clocks to wake up earlier than usual or it means staying up later than usual or waking in the middle of the night. It should be mandatory for the sake of your marriage & out of showing your partner the respect they deserve, showing they mean something to you & you care & love them enough about them to give this of yourself to them, that you would rather be the one to meet their needs, bringing them pleasure & satisfying them rather then have them go else where to have their need met.

        Show them that your marriage is something you value & that your partner means enough to you that regardless of whether you want sex or not, show you’re willing to do this exercise to prove to them & yourself that you want & care & love your partner & your marriage. I’m not proposing putting an hour into sex, if it lasts 5 minutes or 5 hours, just saying.

        If we have partners that are not willing to give up a week to meet the needs & sexually satisfy their partner or at least make a serious attempt at it, that gives you the answer as to how you’ll need to proceed in your relationship if there’s something there worth keeping or salvaging, if you’ll continue to be together in such sad conditions then you have chosen this. If the partner makes it clear by non compliance that there won’t be any change, then obviously they’re saying you aren’t worth not just sex, but the relationship.

        They’ve shown if they aren’t even willing to do or commit to something this easy for the sake of proving the marriage & partnership are still of very much of importance to them, then clearly you know where you stand & you know that they aren’t interested in holding up their end of the marriage. God, did not put people in marriages so they could endlessly be abused, or continually punished.

        Considering the kinds of things that I’m sure each of us has done for our partners at one time or another, that we didn’t necessarily want to do, or sacrifices we’ve made along the way that we haven’t necessarily wanted to make, the point is we have & did & continue to, why because we love & value our partners & our marriages so, the least our partner can do is be mature enough & participate in this short lived exercise & do this for the other. I don’t think their should be any objections or it’s too much to ask, personally I really don’t.

        It will establish several important things & provide the clarity as to let each know where they stand & if there is even a marriage, it allows the partners to gain the much needed perspective on their marriage & view each other as a priority as they should & it allows the opportunity for these couples to connect &/or reconnect on this level again, not to mention giving them the release & relief necessary for both their mental & physical well being that these partners are entitled to, withholding sex as well as, withholding communication is a form of abuse & control, neither of these things are tolerable or should be tolerated in any marriage & nobody should have to put up with or accept this behavior because it’s unacceptable, not to mention the partner doing the with holding is setting up the possibility of infidelity, it’s very unhealthy & unfair.

        The withholding partner sends a message that they no longer care & that they have given up & that their partners needs aren’t important. That’s something that should speak loud & clear by their refusal to participate in this exercise, remember what we get is what we allow, if this simple 7 days of sex once a day can’t be met then it can’t be any clearer as to where you stand.

        It’s only fair then that the partner decides what is in their best interest since the other obviously doesn’t care. If they do then they’ll participate even if they do find it to be silly, stupid, aggravating etc… Their participation in this would give them the chance to redeem themselves in their partners eyes if in fact they are serious in wanting to stay committed & prove they value their marriage as well as their partner, & show maturity & less selfishness & show the consideration for the other that needs to be seen & felt & make time for each other to do it.

        Those who don’t & aren’t willing then seriously ask yourself what you are doing with them to begin with & know that now at least now the proof will be in front of you both & then they should do what is right according to how their partner may want to proceed & do so without any objection or hassles to or towards their partner because they are the ones who made it clear. Those that are serious & give this a try will be glad they did.

  25. Amy from United States says:

    If you ask my husband he would say once in 45 years. That’s where we are at now, he hates sex. To him it’s lame, disgusting, messy, smelly, sticky and not worth the time, Also humans don’t need sex, porn, gays, kids; it’s all stupid.

    • Chris from United States says:

      Amy, you said it was once in 47 years in your previous post. You also post similar stories under names like “Anna.” And you said your husband retired to the garage with no appliances, but a user named “Toni” bragged about moving to the garage to avoid his wife of 46 years. What gives?

  26. Karl from Germany says:

    I love my wife, she loves me and we have sex regularly. However, it is not regular enough for me. She is aware of this, but has in her mind how much sex is “good enough.” I wish she would get out of her mind a particular number for how often we make love. In reality, each should be in charge of the other’s body. There are times when she really desires it and I do not. However, I perform always as I see it to be my duty as her husband. I wish this attitude were mutual. I think if God were a larger part of our relationship that this would not be an issue.

  27. Berry from United States says:

    It’s funny how you all are so wrong because sex is not for pleasure it’s simply to have a baby. In the Bible it says that. In a way it says that practically anything you do pleasurable is a sin. So if you are a Christian then you shouldn’t have sex unless you’re having a kid. It’s that simple.

Marriage Missions International